Tick Abbatment Project
President's Initative and State Grant 2022
Portsmouth Garden Club Launches Tick and Lyme Disease Awareness Program at Town Beach
Lyme disease is a common but misunderstood illness that, if not diagnosed and treated early and properly, can cause serious health problems.
PGC President Mary DiBara, who has chronic Lyme and a number of other tick-borne infections explains that, “Less commonly known is the fact that ticks transmit other serious infections other than Lyme. Also, RI continues to be a high incidence state for Lyme disease. It’s getting worse because of mild winters, which means that more ticks are surviving the winter.”
With funding from a RI State Senate Legislative Community Service grant, Portsmouth Garden Club launched a tick bite prevention and Lyme disease awareness program this past summer at Sandy Point Town Beach. This program is a partnership with the Town of Portsmouth and the RI Dept. of Health.
“While many Rhode Islanders know that summer equals tick season, fewer understand the ticks are found at beaches” Mary explained. “Studies show that Lyme and other infection-carrying ticks are abundant right by the beach. They are most likely to be in dunes covered with beach grass or bushy pathways to the sand.”
The program included remediation spraying using “green” products, distributing tick identification and removal materials, facts concerning Lyme disease prevention/treatment, and beach signage. Information packets were prepared for the 65 children who were enrolled in the town’s summer recreation camp program. Some materials and signage were provided free of charge by the RI Dept. of Health.
The PGC is committed to the health and safety of our community and hopes that this community service initiative will expand next year. Mary said, “This is only the beginning of a year-round prevention program. It’s a promising model of a public –private partnership to alleviate this serious public health hazard. It’s also a model that other garden clubs throughout the state can do.”
For more information: Mary DiBara, firstname.lastname@example.org